PoliCrowd 2.0 is a GIS participatory web application, allowing users to populate a virtual 3D globe with their personal geospatial information. After the first prototypical stage, oriented to tourism and cultural points of interest (POI), we are now ready to present the first stable version, which comes as the natural evolution of the first release. The client has been entirely redesigned and rewritten, turning out to be a real general-purpose multi-thematic social platform. Using a new simple and intuitive graphical interface, users can create, populate, customize and share projects, which can now refer to one or more specific topics (environmental, social, educational, cultural, scientific, etc.) integrated and displayed simultaneously within the same scenario.
The application implements an innovative client able to connect transparently to the supported servers:
- WMS: provide georeferenced map images using Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards;
- ODK: publish placemarks data collected by the community.
Users can collaboratively contribute, by uploading and linking to specific markers their multimedia content, which is now viewable directly inside the client.
With the new ODK management interface, users can easily create and share styles for their project's ODK layers. Finally, the introduction of the fourth dimension (time) provides a more in-depth navigation through the content.
Users can upload points of interest (POIs) through their mobile devices (smartphone and tablets); each content will be displayed on the virtual globe in the form of a marker (see section "MOBILE APP").
Everyone can create their own project, and enrich it with custom WMS and ODK layers, by entering a specific URL or selecting a server from a default list, made by aggregating all the servers inserted by the community. Every compliant layer that has been publicly made available on the Web by companies, organizations or individuals (e.g. satellite imageries, orthophotos, historical maps) can be placed on the virtual globe. Projects are publicly accessible by design, in order to favor the community participation.
The new tree interface also allows a faster and intuitive management of every kind of layer.
ODK layers are fully customizable, thanks to the new layer management interface. Users can select the fields they want to have displayed for a given layer in their project, and personalize marker icons by picking them from a default collection or providing them manually. Styles are also shareable, so that users having added the same layer in their project can save time, opting for a ready-made icon set provided by another user.
By clicking on a marker, the related details collected through the ODK form are displayed.
The Comment and Multimedia button gives also access to all the textual and multimedia contents (comments, images, audios and videos). Multimedia elements are now entirely managed inside the client: images are displayed in a picture viewer, while, for videos and audios, the application relies on a customizable external player (e.g. VLC).
Every marker is open to collaborative contribution: everyone can add his POI-related comments and multimedia items to the platform, thanks to the new built-in interface.
The time bar enables temporal filtering of all the point of interests on the globe, just by picking a given date or setting a range. The same capabilities are also made available for multimedia data, which can be independently filtered according to the date of the content upload or (if provided) to the actual date of the element (e.g. pictures dating back to the ’50s).